Smart, funny, and with a great voice, this middle-grade story combines exciting soccer action with strong themes of friendship, forgiveness and trust.
It’s not exactly that Ari Fish is obsessive compulsive. It’s just that he believes in luck. That’s why he recites American presidents (in order), always showers with his left hand, and talks to his poster of Wayne Timcoe (the greatest goalkeeper ever to graduate from Somerset Valley High) before he goes on to the soccer pitch. Thomas Jefferson may have said that luck is all a matter of hard work, but Ari knows that sometimes luck is . . . luck. And to win at soccer you need it.
When Ari finds a rare Wayne Timcoe trading card, he knows his luck has changed. Now he’s going to start in the net. Mac MacDonald will learn to play nicely with Parker Llewellyn, the only girl on the team. And Ari’s fire-fighter brother will come home safely. Right? But then Ari’s Timcoe card disappears. With his luck finally run out, what can Ari put in its place?
Rights: Greenhouse c/o Rights People
USA/Canada: Dial (Penguin Putnam)
2011 VOYA Top Shelf for Middle School Readers
This list will appear in the February issue of the magazine.